There are two components to an effective estate plan.
Lifetime documents are for when you are alive but unable to make decisions for yourself. A Durable Power of Attorney allows someone you designate to manage your finances in the event you are unable to do so yourself. Similarly, a Health Care Proxy allows someone to make medical decisions at your direction should you be incapacitated. A Living Will details medical treatments you would or would not want to keep you alive, as well as things like your choices about organ donation. A HIPPA Release allows your designated proxy to receive your medical history from your doctors. Finally, Nomination/Appointment of Guardian/Conservator help people when they are incapacitated.
Dispositive documents are for when you have passed. These are the Last Will and Testament and Revocable Trust. There may be others, but these are the most common. These documents make sure your assets are passed to your loved ones in the way that you want them to be.
1. Free consultation
We will speak over the phone and complete a short questionnaire. The goal of the consultation is to have a sense of your family and financial circumstances and your goals.
2. Fee agreement and retainer
If you decide to move forward, we will send an engagement letter for your signature and an invoice for half of the legal fee.
3. Detailed intake
After the engagement letter is executed, we will undertake a detailed intake. This process can be upwards of two hours. We review all your financial and family circumstances and provide various options. We answer all your questions and offer advice.
We will prepare a draft of your documents that conforms to our detailed intake. You will be provided copies of the drafts and we will review them together.
5. Execution and balance of fees
Once everything meets your standards, we will get together to execute. The balance of the legal fee is due at this time. After signing, your documents will be scanned into our document storage and you will be mailed the originals for safekeeping.
An effective estate plan gives peace of mind to families. It ensures that you will be taken care of in the event of your incapacity, and that your wishes will be honored at death.
An estate plan usually includes the following:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Proxy
- HIPAA Authorization
- Living Will
- Last Will and Testament
- Revocable or Irrevocable Trust
An estate plan will accomplish the following goals:
Care in the event of incapacity.
If you become incapacitated, estate planning documents will allow someone you trust manage your financial and medical affairs. Lacking these documents could
A health care proxy allows someone of your choosing to manage your medical care in the event of your incapacity. It becomes effective only when a doctor determines that you are unable to make medical decisions. Without a health care proxy, your family members will need the courts to appoint a guardian. This process can be stressful and time consuming at a moment when every minute counts.
A durable power of attorney allows someone you designate to manage your financial affairs in the event of your incapacity. This person would be able to complete important tasks on your behalf, such as making sure you home insurance is renewed on time.
A properly drafted estate plan will save time, money, and stress for your loved ones after death. Probate administration is costly, time consuming, and confusing for non-lawyers. Our representation seeks to avoid probate altogether, or in the alternative, make it as efficient and cost effective as possible.
Provide for your loved ones.
When a decedent dies without a will, they die intestate. As a result, the Massachusetts intestacy laws will determine how the decedent’s assets are distributed to heirs. These laws may conflict with the decedent’s wishes and create inequities for your descendants.
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